Between 1941 and 1968, the Army Map Service was responsible for the publication and distribution of military topographic maps for use by U.S. military forces. Created from a merger of the Engineer Reproduction Plant and the Army’s Geographic Section, the AMS operated under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The mission was to collect, catalog, and store foreign and domestic maps and map information required by the War Department. The organization also furnished maps needed for the General Staff and other authorized agencies. They compiled and reproduced maps for field forces’ initial operations and developed and improved mapping and map reproduction methods. According to Army historical documents, during World War II, the AMS produced some 500 million topographic maps.
Operation Dragoon began the morning of August 15, 1944, with amphibious assault landings hitting the beaches just after 8 a.m. The 45th landed in the center at Delta Beach near Saint-Tropez and Saint Maxime. Operation Dragoon was a success. The 45th, 3rd, and 36th Infantry Divisions swept the German Army from Southern France, and French forces liberated the ports of Marseille and Toulon, allowing vital supplies to reach stalled Allied forces.
The invasion into Southern France marked the 4th amphibious landing for the Thunderbirds, and while they did not meet stiff opposition from the German Army their fight would continue. In the following months, the 45th would fight its way through the Siegfried Line into Germany and then on to Munich, where Thunderbirds discovered and liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp.